I came across my old instruction manuel which was issued when I joined the job, whilst having a spring clear out . For the first two years I had to study it for my probationer training and had to insert the updates that were dispatched from training centre.
It is full of common sense paragraphs so indulge me producing a couple here and wondering where it all went wrong.
Here I produce 3 paragraphs from the first page
Objects of Police
"The primary object of an efficient police is the prevention of crime: the next that of detection and punishment of offenders if crime is committed. To these ends all the efforts of police must be directed. The protection of life and property, the preservation of public tranquility, and the absence of crime, will alone prove whether those efforts have been successful and whether the objects for which the police were appointed have been attained." (Sir Richard Mayne 1829)
Attitude To Public
In attaining these objects, much depends on the approval and co-operation of the public, and these have always been determined by the degree of esteem and respect in which the police are held. Therefore every member of the Force must remember that it is his duty to protect and help members of the public, no less than to bring offenders to justice. Consequently, while prompt to prevent crime and arrest criminals, he must look on himself as the servant and guardian of the general public and treat all law abiding citizens, irrespective of their race, colour, creed or social position, with unfailing patience and courtesy.
Tact and Good Humour
By the use of tact and good humour the public can normally be induced to comply with directions and thus the necessity for using force, with its possible public disapproval, is avoided. He who in this way secures the object he has in view is a more useful police officer than his comrade who, relying too much on the assertion of his authority, runs the risk of seeing that authority challenged and possibly, for the time being, overborne. If, however, persuasion, advice or warning is found to be ineffective, a resort to force may become necessary, as it is imperative that a police officer being required to take action shall act with the firmness necessary to render it effective.
No doubt the police service of today would be turning somersaults over the political incorrectness of those words. I joined a police force and those words still mean more to me than the mission statements and dross bandied about today. We used to treat all law abiding citizens with unfailing courtesy and patience and pursued the wrongdoer, who appeared to have been excluded from the definition general public. They were criminals and were treated as such NOT victim's to be pitied and excused from feeding on the weak and vulnerable.
Sometimes I wish I was back policing the same way I could before - it was simple and worked. Of course some things had to change but even a Force more representative of the community at large could have maintained the same values as set out above. You were allowed to be an individual and seek your own solutions to reach the objects as outlined.
2010 - policing is micro managed and any creativity crushed by central control who appear to want robotic responses in line with their latest Standard Operating Procedure. Sir Richard Mayne what would you say today?